April, Becky and Becca

Becky Bryson              April, Becky and Becca

My dad passed away in September of 1962, the beginning of my 8th grade. I finished the 9th grade at CHS and late that summer Mom and I moved to Decatur, IL. In September 1964 Mom married Jim Sumner, who is the father of Carolyn Sumner Cummins ('65) and Jerry Sumner ('68). Jerry moved in with us to finish and graduate at CJHS. Jim moved to Decatur with Caroyln and the two younger girls in summer of '63. Jim died in February 1991 and Mom died in July 1994. At this time, I would like to mention that we are a better blended family than the Bradys! We are still close.

I graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 1967. I tried college and decided it wasn't for me, so I quit and got married in January '68. Although it was a mistake, it wasn't a huge mistake. We are still friends. We went to a party where I met and fell head over heels instantly with my husband. We were married in July of '71. At that time I was working as a photographer for a local portrait studio. While I was pregnant with our only child, the studio closed. After April was born, I went to work for Olan Mills and worked there for about 1 year. The hours were bad (three nights a week and every Saturday).

I then got hired at a commercial dental laboratory. I worked there for 10 years and then they sold it to several dentists. One of those dentists and I hit it off immediately. The dentists owned it for several years and sold it to a large corporation. I worked for them for 2 years. I finally got out of my non-compete contract and Dr. Jesek put a laboratory in his office. I have been in the office for 11 years. I make the crowns and bridges. I make the metal frames, do the porcelain, gold crowns, TMJ splints, and occasionally set up dentures (but I do not process them). I have been doing this for 26 years and I still like it, although sometimes I get tired of the heavy schedule. We do a lot of full mouth reconstruction. The money would be better in a commercial laboratory, but I have 'clout' and I learned early on that some things are not worth the money. I have been board certified for about 15 years. The office web site is www.Jesek.com .

Joe and I have one child. April was born in August 1973. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and works for a chain daycare. She married her childhood friend and high school sweetheart in 1993. Brian runs the parts department for a Power Sports store that sells everything from motorcycles to jet skis. So far, they have one daughter, Rebecca (who goes by Becca), who was born February 15, 1995. It is a family thing to name your daughter Rebecca every other generation. I am the third and Becca is the forth.

Joe and I like to camp and canoe. Joe has been the president of the canoe club for the past several years. We are volunteers at our Conservation District. Joe leads hikes, cave trips, and we both work with the Earth Adventure Camps for the high school and junior high school kids and in the winter in the cross country ski rental. But our favorite is the Prairie Homestead Farm. It was originally a one-room log cabin that had been added to and sided. The period of interpretation is 1860- before the Civil War. We give tours one day a month and participate in special programming throughout the season (May-October). I am also in the Dulcimer Club (a dulcimer is a folk instrument that originates out of the Appalachians in the early 1800's). We also belong to a local Blackpowder Club that does pre-1830 interpretation. The reenactment for the mountainman period runs from 1760-1830. We are more 1810 (not Colonials).